Quearborn & Perversionphoto of street signs

Referring to the Chicago street intersection of Dearborn and Division (the nexus of gay life in the 1950's), "Quearborn & Perversion" was self-deprecating slang adopted by gay men from the mocking mouths of the era's Chicago Police Department. Filmmaker Ron Pajak, interviewing Chicago women and men, documents a rich oral history of lesbian and gay life spanning 1934 to 1974.

Over four-dozen oral histories have been collected representing various demographics of the Chicago lesbian and gay landscape. Quearborn & Perversion: An Early History of Lesbian & Gay Chicago traces the public and private personas of men and women forced by society to live underground in a secret world. Enriching and illustrating these compelling interviews are treasured private photo collections, old home movies and print memorabilia. Each person's interview gives voice to an important component of the struggle to live an emotionally honest life at a time when society's labels of "pervert" and "sick" brainwashed many.






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